What Damages Can You Recover After a Truck Accident?

What Damages Can You Recover After a Truck Accident?The aftermath of a truck accident can be devastating. These types of accidents often result in severe injuries and significant emotional trauma. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Understanding the types of damages recoverable in a truck accident claim is important in ensuring you receive fair compensation.

Economic damages

Economic damages are losses with a clear financial value and can be documented with receipts, bills, and other financial records. These are typically the most straightforward damages to recover in a commercial truck accident case. Here’s a breakdown of some common economic damages:

  • Medical expenses: This includes all costs associated with treating your injuries, such as ambulance fees, hospital stays, doctor visits, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. You can also recover the cost of future medical care if your injuries are expected to require ongoing treatment.
  • Lost wages: If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you can recover compensation for lost wages. This includes both your base salary and any benefits you would have earned during your recovery period. In some cases, you may also be able to recover compensation for lost future earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous job or earning potential.
  • Property damage: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle damaged in the accident. In some cases, you may also be able to recover compensation for other damaged property, such as personal belongings in your vehicle.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses: This includes any additional expenses you incur due to the accident, such as transportation costs to and from medical appointments, childcare costs if you’re unable to care for your children due to your injuries, and home modifications needed to accommodate your injuries.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages are intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify. However, they can be just as significant as economic damages. These damages are designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress caused by the accident. Here are some examples of non-economic damages:

  • Pain and suffering: This covers the physical pain you experience as a result of your injuries, as well as the emotional distress associated with the accident.
  • Mental anguish: This includes anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues that can develop after a traumatic accident.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: This covers the inability to participate in activities you once enjoyed due to your injuries.
  • Scarring and disfigurement: This compensates you for the emotional and psychological impact of permanent scarring or disfigurement caused by the accident.

Wrongful death damages

If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. Wrongful death claims are brought by surviving family members to recover compensation for the loss of their loved one. Recoverable damages in a wrongful death case may include:

  • Loss of financial support: This compensates the family for the income the deceased person would have earned if they had not been killed.
  • Loss of companionship and guidance: This compensates family members for the loss of the deceased person’s companionship, love, and emotional support.
  • Loss of household services: This covers the value of services the deceased person provided to the household, such as childcare or housekeeping.
  • Medical and funeral expenses: This compensates the family for any medical bills incurred by the deceased person before they passed away, as well as funeral and burial costs.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are rarely, but sometimes, awarded in truck accident cases. They are intended to punish the at-fault party for egregious or reckless conduct and deter similar behavior in the future. To recover punitive damages, our Richmond truck accident attorneys work to demonstrate that the truck driver or trucking company acted with a conscious disregard for the safety of others.

What factors might affect the amount of damages to which I’m entitled?

The amount of damages you can recover in a truck accident case will depend on several factors, including:

  • The severity of your injuries: More serious injuries will typically result in higher damages awards.
  • The extent of your medical bills and lost wages: The greater your financial losses, the more compensation you are likely to receive.
  • The effects of your injuries on your daily life: If your injuries significantly affect your ability to work, participate in activities, or maintain relationships, you may be entitled to higher compensation.
  • The degree of fault of the truck driver or trucking company: The more responsible the truck driver or trucking company is for the accident, the higher your potential damages award.
  • Shared fault: If you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, you may not be eligible for damages. This is determined by a Virginia legal principle known as pure contributory negligence.

Evidence helps support your damage claims

To maximize your chances of recovering full compensation for your damages, you and your attorney can gather strong evidence to support your claim. Here are some types of evidence that can be helpful:

  • Medical records: These document the nature and extent of your injuries, as well as the treatment you received.
  • Medical bills: These provide proof of the financial costs associated with your injuries.
  • Paystubs: These document your lost wages due to the accident.
  • Expert testimony: Doctors, economists, and other experts can provide testimony about the severity of your injuries, the expected future medical care you may need, and the impact of your injuries on your earning capacity.
  • Accident scene photos: These can help to illustrate the cause of the accident and the severity of the damage.
  • Witness statements: Witnesses who saw the accident can provide testimony about what happened.

Importance of consulting a Richmond truck accident lawyer

The legal process after a truck accident can be complex. However, our truck accident lawyers have the experience and knowledge to investigate your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. An experienced lawyer can help you understand the full range of damages you may be entitled to recover and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Here are some additional benefits of consulting a Richmond-based truck accident lawyer from our team:

  • Investigating the cause of the accident: We have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident and identify all potentially liable parties.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies: Insurance companies often try to minimize settlements. We can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement offer.
  • Understanding complex legal issues: Truck accident cases can involve complex legal issues, such as shared fault and trucking industry regulations. We can explain these issues to you and advise you on your legal rights.
  • Taking your case to court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, we can represent you in court.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident and are unsure of your next steps, don’t hesitate to contact the Phelan Petty Injury Lawyers for help. We’ll fight to hold the negligent party accountable and get you the compensation you deserve to recover from your injuries and rebuild your life. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer, simply call our offices or fill out our contact form. We’re based in Richmond and proudly serve all of Virginia.